Keep Your Home California more than doubles the funding limit for Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program

Keep Your Home California is always looking at ways to improve the free mortgage-assistance program in order to help more financially strapped low- to moderate-income homeowners.

Recently, the state-managed program more than doubled the funding limit of the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program, allowing more homeowners to catch-up on their past-due mortgage payments.

Under the changes, hard-hit homeowners behind at least two months on their mortgage payments can receive as much as $54,000 with the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program. The previous limit was $25,000.

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The $29,000 boost in the funding limit will allow more homeowners to be approved for the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program. The average monthly mortgage payment is about $2,000 in California, according to multiple sources.

So, cash-strapped homeowners who are significantly behind on their monthly mortgage payments could catch up with Keep Your Home California. How much financial assistance homeowners receive depends on numerous factors.

In order to qualify for Keep Your Home California and the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program, homeowners must meet program eligibility requirements, including having suffered a financial hardship – such as a job loss, cut in pay, a divorce, a death or extraordinary medical expenses – and meet county-by-county income requirements. The county limits are much higher than many think, from about $70,000 in several counties to more than $120,000 in the Bay Area.

However, homeowners approved for the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program must have recovered from their financial hardship and be able to make their mortgage payments going forward in order to be eligible for the program.

Also, a homeowner’s mortgage servicer, the company that collects the monthly payment, must participate in Keep Your Home California – and more specifically the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program. About 240 mortgage servicers participate in Keep Your Home California, with almost all enrolled in the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program. Major banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase participate.

Of course, Keep Your Home California has three other first-mortgage programs and a new pilot program for low- to moderate-income senior homeowners with reverse mortgages. More information on each program is available at the Keep Your Home California website.

If you would like more information or want to apply for Keep Your Home California, call 888-954-KEEP (5337) or visit www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org (Spanish speakers should visit http://conservatucasacalifornia.org/). The counseling center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Translators are available, so counseling sessions can be conducted in virtually any language.

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